Has anyone thought or managed to start a successful custom home theatre install business? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, I am currently studying a degree in sound in film, television and games and I'm trying to research employment possibilities after I graduate(or possibly after a master's degree later on) I see mostly homebrew projects on here regarding home cinema installs(or in other categories home automation/outside cinema/gaming/multi room) and have been mighty impressed with some of the work shown. My question is really, is there a business out there for custom home cinema installs? Perhaps including outside cinema/home automation/multi room/gaming rooms?

This subject area greatly interests me so I would be grateful if anyone can offer any advice? Perhaps some of you install professionally also? Or perhaps you regard it to easy to do as a diy project and therefore think they're will be no custom for a potential business.

Any advice or feedback would greatly be appreciated!

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 10:04 PM
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-13-2012, 10:09 PM
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You mean besides Dennis Erskine? I can't think of anyone.

If one is going to make a simplistic assessment of the value of different alignments, it would be that sealed/IB goes the lowest, at the highest cost per dB; horns have the lowest cost per dB at the expense of size, and vented box characteristics lie in between the other two. None is inherently superior across the board, neither is any inherently inferior across the board. The one to use is the one that fits your response and output needs, available space and bank account. -BFM
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 02:44 AM
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I'd humbly suggest a degree in structural engineering and/or acoustics/and or math/physics would be more appropriate

PS. Look up your national installer awards, there are plenty of HT magazines in the UK, look at some of the adverts

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Well my degree is very technical. It contains a lot of physics and maths and is designed to prepare me for the design or construction of audio equipment itself.it's actually more technical than a similar sound engineering degree my university offers. I Will learn about how sound and light travels in real world scenarios such as cinema, concerts, gigs etc. It's good to know you also suggest structural design though.perhaps this is something I can pursue afterwards.

It's nice to see there is a market out there chaps. Thank you



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post #6 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 04:53 AM
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After retiring from a career in Management Consulting, being an avid hobbyist woodworker and home remodeler, I finished my personal theater, then started helping others, that led to starting my own contracting business where I focus exclusively on home theaters. There is plenty of work on this side of the pond. From what I know about home construction in our respective countries a typical suburban home here as more space available to convert to a dedicated theater. I work as a one man army to keep my overhead and obligations low. I can't make as much as I did when I was working my career job, but at this stage in my life that isn't important I am doing what I love.


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post #7 of 10 Old 08-14-2012, 08:10 PM
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There are a number of designers/custom installers in the US and abroad. You may wish to look at CEDIA www.cedia.net and look into the industry via that direction. However, I will say this, your degree will help, but be prepared to spend another many years after you graduate learning and gaining additional formal education. My degree is an applied physics degree. It helps most certainly, but that was just the foundation. Hope this helps! smile.gif

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 03:46 PM
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Yes I did in NJ but you can't really make a good living at it and in this state the permits are killing me. I do it because I love it though and I get to spend time with my kids instead of on a train at 5am. I use to head up IT for a bank on wall street. I am working on my alarm certification right now out of pocket about $2500 and several weeks of studying and classes and there is no guarantee you will get it. If you are young there is much easier ways to make money and less personalities to deal with.

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Taking into consideration what most of you have said regarding how lucrative such a profession can be, what exactly is it that prevents good money from being made?

Secondly, if you were a hands on person with interest in design, would it be better just working as a home equipment installer, say for a high end a/v dealer? Or is the money to be made in professional installations for clubs, pubs, offices etc?

The home theatre idea greatly interests me, but obviously I want to push to find something that will make as much money as I can!

I was thinking of doing the full whack, not just the design of the room, but also the equipment design, even down to the design of a home network/HTPC. Perhaps the money lays in different areas?

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-16-2012, 01:24 PM
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We have already mentioned that there are several companies out there that already do what you are suggestiing. The COMPLETE install and I mean everything down to the last screw and foot of wire (communication or otherwise). It's a living, but you likely won't make millions either. What you are thinking about is daunting. Maintaining expertise in absolutely every aspect of the HT business is overwhelming at best since it changes on an annual basis. Best thing to do is find an element where experience in the field is lacking (likely because it is hard), maintain expertise in that area, and market yourself to that element. Best wishes!! smile.gif

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
CEDIA Certified Professional EST II - HAA Level III Certified -THX Certified Professional


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